Mobile phones and numerous other electronic devices must have a standard charging socket in the EU from mid-2024. Negotiators from the EU states and the European Parliament agreed on USB-C as the standard charging socket, as the head of the negotiations, Anna Cavazzini (Greens), said in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
Until recently, there was a debate about which devices should be specifically affected in addition to mobile phones. There will be more than originally planned. According to Cavazzini, the regulation applies to smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones and portable speakers. The French Council Presidency also confirmed an agreement.
In addition, during the negotiations, Parliament was able to ensure that laptops, e-readers, keyboards and computer mice, sat navs, smart watches and electronic toys are also included, for example, as long as the devices are large enough for a corresponding connection – although there is one for laptops longer transition period. It will also be possible in the future to buy the device and charger as well as the charging cable separately.
The EU states, on the other hand, have achieved in the negotiations that the new law will only apply from mid-2024. Parliament wanted the rules to come into force earlier. Both the EU countries and the European Parliament still have to formally approve the agreement. But that is considered a formality.
The Association of Municipal Enterprises (VKU) welcomed the result of the negotiations: “The best waste is still that which is not created in the first place.” The project spares resources and the nerves of consumers, said a spokesman. The companies organized in the VKU are responsible for waste disposal, among other things.
Legal requirements for charging cables – charging sockets, to be more precise – have been the subject of debate for a long time. More than ten years ago, the commission brought the charging cable issue up for the first time. 14 manufacturers – including Apple – have agreed to a uniform standard for mobile phone power supplies in a voluntary commitment. When it comes to the sockets in smartphones and tablet computers, three of what used to be several dozen types remain: USB-C, Apple’s Lightning connector and micro-USB.